Cordoba House: The Acid Test Liberty against the lynch mob: which side are you on?

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It’s hard to believe that a national campaign led by lunatics has taken off with such momentum, but then again, it looks like we’re still living in Bizarro World, where the values we upheld before 9/11 have been hideously inverted. So what else can we expect?

The cable news channels have been consumed with the “Ground Zero mosque” 24/7, to the virtual exclusion of all else: it’s an “issue” made for them, and they’re eating it up. I’m soooo glad we don’t have anything else to worry about: that the economy is just rolling merrily along, people are not losing their homes, and everything is just hunky-dory in the good ol’ US of A, land of peace and plenty. Why else would our “leaders” in both parties be commenting on what, in a rational society, would not even come up for discussion?

Too bad we aren’t living a rational society, or even anything close. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind as I sat down, today, to once again examine this manufactured controversy. Which led logically and naturally to this second thought: manufactured by whom, and for what purpose?

Is it me, or does anyone else find it passing strange that — at a time when conservatives are on the ascendant, with this administration’s increasingly unpopular economic program under attack from all sides — that the American right-wing is taking up yet another nasty-minded “cultural” issue? Forget the bank bailouts, don’t worry about the nationalization of large swathes of the American economy (banking, healthcare, housing), and try to forget that China owns us — what’s really really wrong with America is that the New York City government is allowing a mosque to be built within a four-block radius of where the World Trade Center once stood.

Never mind that it isn’t a mosque, and that we’re talking about four New York City blocks, which, where I come from, is the equivalent of the other side of town. Also please ignore the fact that there are already mosques in the vicinity — go here for the Google map — and not only that, but what about all those Muslims living and working in the general vicinity? Isn’t their mere presence a slap in the face? What about Alfanoose, the excellent Arabic restaurant a few blocks away, where customers regularly consume such pro-terrorist items as lamb shawarma? Not to mention falafels!

And it isn’t just those rag-heads we need to cleanse from the streets of Lower Manhattan. Right in the same neighborhood is the headquarters of the National Lawyers Guild, one of whose members, Lynn Stewart, the 70-year-old attorney for accused terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman, was jailed for ten years for “materially supporting terrorism.” White radicals are just as bad as the terrorists they defend, and they have to go, too.

And what about the Mayor of New York City, Mr. Bloomberg: should he be allowed to set foot anywhere near the Sacred Zone? After all, he’s defending Cordoba House: indeed, he’s the only politician I know of, other than — to some degree — the President, who is standing up for the terrorists — uh, I mean the builders of the mosque — and therefore he, too, should be banished from that holy precinct. And why stop with Lower Manhattan, anyway? Let’s extend the ban to all of New York City: after all, the 9/11 attacks were aimed the whole of the Big Bad Apple, and certainly people in all boroughs were traumatized, perhaps they lost loved ones.

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Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.

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